Revised COOL Rule from Obama Administation Unlikely to Help Beef Demand for US ProducersMon, 03 Jun 2013 21:32:10 CDT
The US government will require meat packers to explicitly list the origin of beef, pork and chicken sold in US grocery stores, a regulation intended to resolve years of disputes with Canada and Mexico that was adopted May 23, 2013..
But Canada's agriculture minister said it will continue to fight the country of origin labeling rules (COOL) which he said had contributed to a sharp decline in Canadian cattle and pig exports, setting up a possible trade war.
The Obama administration unveiled the new rule on the final day to comply with a World Trade Organization decision, issued in June 2012, that upheld complaints by Canada and Mexico. Under the new regulation, labels will carry labels such as "Born, Raised and Slaughtered in the United States" for US animals.
Meat from other countries could carry labels such as, "Born in Mexico, Raised and Slaughtered in the United States." No commingling of meat from various nations will be allowed. "The United States remains committed to ensuring that consumers are provided with information about the origin of muscle cut meats they buy at the retail level," the US Department of Agriculture said in a statement. The USDA has not acknowledged the amount of costs for compliance to beef producers and others along the pipeline before the beef arrives at the supermarket with this much more detailed information.
The revised rules take effect immediately, however the USDA will allow a six-month grace period for compliance. In the original rule, which took effect in March 2009, packages could carry labels saying the meat was from the United States and other nations.
According to a study conducted by Kansas State University- the impact on demand from the original COOL mandated label was negligible. And- according to Dr. Glynn Tonsor of K-State, who helped conduct that study- the revised rule which demands more information from producers at what will likely be significant cost to the beef industry, will not improve beef demand either.
Tonsor is our guest on today's Beef Buzz.
The Beef Buzz is a regular feature heard on radio stations around the region on the Radio Oklahoma Network- but is also a regular audio feature found on this website as well. Click on the LISTEN BAR below for today's show- and check out our archives for older Beef Buzz shows covering the gamut of the beef cattle industry today.
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